30 October 2015

A report commissioned by the Italian government on reception conditions for refugees and migrants in Italy was published on 15 October. In the report, asylum and migration experts raise concerns over the fact that 70% of asylum seekers and refugees in Italy are being hosted in temporary facilities and that asylum procedures remain too long. In addition, there is a lack of protection guarantees for asylum-seeking children. The report suggests that part of the solution is to expand the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR) across the regions, given the successful experience of local projects that have been implemented so far.

The report highlights that at present Italy lacks a reliable information system that ensures the adequate identification and referral of asylum seeking children, and argues that protection systems for unaccompanied children need to be improved, for example with the establishment of first reception facilities where children could receive identification and screening.

The report also provides an overview of recent developments concerning the application of the European Agenda on Migration in Italy, including the relocation scheme and “hot spots”. In the report, migration experts call for a necessary revision of the Dublin Regulation in light of its inefficiencies. Moreover, any measure concerning fast-track procedures or provisions regarding ‘safe countries of origin’ must ensure that each asylum seeker’s claim is considered on the basis of her/his individual situation and rights.

As of 10 October 2015, 100,000 asylum seekers and refugees live in reception facilities in Italy. In 2015 most asylum seekers came from Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia. The number of unaccompanied children has increased by 73%.

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 30 October 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.